What if your child's school bus was in an accident? What if your child wandered off during a picnic? If your child has medical, developmental, or behavioral issues that would make these situations even more challenging, he should probably wear some type of medical alert tag.
Medical alert tags have come a long way since they first became available, and were typically clunky metal bracelets with just one condition engraved on them. They are now available in a multitude of fashionable styles, can be custom engraved, and are available with 24-hour emergency response.
If your child only has one or two medical problems, a simple band may be appropriate. But if your child is more complex, it is usually best to choose a custom option that is linked to a data information source, such as a wearable Flash drive or an emergency response system.
Medical jewelry can be defined as a bracelet, necklace, shoe tag, or other similar device that can be worn to indicate a child has a medical condition. Medical jewelry is not linked to any information sources or data storage. It simple lets a hospital, doctor, teacher, or other individual know that your child has a medical problem.
Medical jewelry is very useful if your child has just one or two problems, such as a defined food or drug allergy, or epilepsy. Some items also come with a wallet card with further information. You are typically limited to three or four lines of custom information on engraved jewelry.
Medical jewelry can range in price from about $10 for a simple children's band to more than $300 for a gold necklace or bracelet. Below are some sources for medical jewelry:
Another option for certain children, especially those with extensive or complicated medical information, is a wearable USB drive. These small data storage devices can be plugged into any computer and the data can be read and retrieved. One small device can carry hundreds of pages of medical records, as well as images and other detailed information.
Wearable USB drives are available in a wide variety of styles, ranging from bracelets to dog tags and pendants that can be worn on a chain. One company provides a wallet card with a USB incorporated in it.
Another option is to purchase a regular USB flash drive for your keychain or your child's backpack and indicate through medical ID jewelry that medical records are available on the device.
Wearable Medical IDs with 24-hour Information Retrieval
Perhaps the best option for children who are complicated and whose information changes frequently is a MedicAlert subscription, available at http://www.medicalert.org/. MedicAlert combines high-quality fashionable wearable jewelry with a 24-hour response system that can store your child's medical information. Children wear a bracelet, necklace, shoe tag, or similar device that includes a list of their primary conditions, along with a phone number and identification number. When this number is called, the child's full medical record can be accessed immediately, including all conditions and diagnoses, medications, a list of contacts (relatives and doctors), and other information.
Membership for children is half price, and includes a one-time set-up charge of $14.95 (including the bracelet), and $15 per year thereafter. Fancier bracelets or pendants are available at an additional charge. A special program for children with autism is available at the same price.
For $9.95 a month, members can upgrade to a MedicAlert Gold membership that allows them to store all of their medical records through MedicAlert, with immediate full access available from any computer.
Protect Your Child
Any child with a medical condition, allergy, or who takes medication should have a medical alert system, whether it is a piece of wearable medical jewelry, a USB drive, or a MedicAlert subscription. It may be the only thing that saves your child's life in an emergency.
Copyright 2010 Complex Child E-Magazine. All Rights Reserved.
The information on these pages is not a substitute for appropriate medical care. Please contact your child's physicians before making any changes in your child's care. Complex Child is for research purposes only and does not constitute medical advice.